Being at home for extended periods of time can make even homebodies itch for ways to keep busy. Here are 10 ideas to help pass the time and also build ties with others, all without leaving home.
Beading, needlepoint, origami, painting, photography, the list is endless. Crafts don’t have to require extensive supplies either. Utilizing a platform like Pinterest, search for crafts that use specific things you have at home, rather than choosing a craft you’d like to do and then feel let down when you may not have all the supplies. You can also make this a group activity via video chat; coordinate with a group of friends and choose a household item everybody has- and then share how everybody “upcycled” the object into a beautiful craft in their own unique way.
Improve Your Home Space
Now is a great time to tackle those home improvement projects. Whether that means hanging those picture frames you’ve wanted to display, refinishing a coffee table to give it new life, or painting a room to freshen up the space, having a little bit of extra time provides the chance to fix up the space in which we are spending most our time. Take advantage of the free shipping many companies are offering to avoid stores, or use curbside pickup when available. If spending money on improvement projects isn’t an option, don’t let that deter you from freshening up your home- even rearranging the furniture can completely revitalize a space.
Going hand in hand with home projects is organizing. Tackle that closet that has gotten out of control over the years. Clean out the spaces under sinks (or tupperware cabinets!), sort through clothing or toys and decide what items are still used regularly, and which could be donated to those less fortunate (but check in with whatever organization you choose to donate to, as their operations may be interrupted during this time).
The internet is loaded with ideas to stay fit and active without leaving home. Fitness bloggers are sharing ways to modify workouts to help people stay on track without their normal gym routines. Use household items for weights, look up fitness routines that only require one piece of equipment- your own body- then your options are unlimited. Think push ups, lunges, squats, walking in place, squats, etc. Or take advantage of the online fitness subscription plans that have been opened to the public free of charge during this time. Here are several great options:
- Core Power Yoga. Sixteen hour-long yoga classes, plus four meditations, on its website.
- Echelon and Peloton. Both apps offer a wide variety of live and on-demand classes (yoga, dance, core, Pilates) in addition to the in-home Spin classes they’re known for. Both apps are free for 90 days.
- Barre3 and The Bar Method. The ballet-meets-yoga-meets-Pilates classes are free for 15 days.
- Daily Burn and Gold’s Gym. Miss gym classes? Try a 60-day free trial of the Daily Burn’s sleek at-home classes, with a variety of specialties such as postnatal. Or hit the 600 audio and video classes on the Gold’s Amp app, which is free until May 31.
- Planet Fitness. Planet Fitness has a free daily class at 7 p.m. ET on its Facebook Live page.
Please make sure to speak to your provider before starting any new exercise regimen.
Join A Virtual Book Club
Another great way to pass the time and also build ties with others is joining (or creating!) a virtual book club. This fantastic TIME magazine article shares insight into the world of online book clubs, including some that are diving into classics like Albert Camu’s The Plague, and Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Check out how celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and Betty White are hosting online story time for children, it’s guaranteed to make you smile. There are an endless amount of virtual book clubs- including those just for women or men (or kids), members of the LGBTQ+ community, for people seeking out others reading a specific genre, and even for those that are more comfortable skipping the small talk and instead opt to read for an hour (while on video!) and then chat about what they read for a short time. The possibilities are endless, making the world of literature available to anybody.
You’re not in this experience alone! Keeping in touch with friends and family can help relieve stress and also keep everybody connected during this unique time. Use communication tools to give you a hand when you have a work deadline to meet; set up video chats with willing family members or friends when you are pressed to get work completed and have them “babysit” the kiddos. While they engage in conversation, read books together, play virtual “eye spy”, etc. you can breathe a bit easier and take care of tasks.
Many older family members, especially those living in facilities, are sequestered within their space and would greatly appreciate a phone call or video chat to brighten their day. Take time to help lift their spirits- it’ll be appreciated beyond measure.
Become A Pen Pal
Writing a letter has become a lost art. Grab a pen and paper and reach out to those in your life. Writing provides a wonderful avenue to explore your thoughts, share how you feel, and communicate with those you care about. Get the younger kids in the family in the mix and teach them about something you are passionate about. Ask what matters to them and better understand their perspective. Take this time to learn more about the people you love!
Consider also reaching out to elder care facilities and ask if anybody there would like to become a pen pal- discovering a new friend could be just what is needed for you and your pal.
Music is one of the most amazing tools in helping pass the time and fill the air with tunes that bring your household joy. Try listening to a new genre and really take in what makes it unique. Create a play list for a friend. If you have children, start an at-home band using objects around the house and jam along to your favorite songs. Or, throw together a spontaneous online concert with other musicians in your circle, via video chat. Music is powerful and is a valuable tool for our minds and soul.
Be a Virtual Tourist
Many museums, zoos and other venues are opening up their space to the public utilizing online tours. To get you started on your journey, here are a few world-renowned museums from around the globe that are offering virtual tours:
British Museum, London
This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You can also find hundreds of artifacts on the museum’s virtual tour.
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Google’s Street View feature lets visitors tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. From there, you can discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
This famous American art museum features two online exhibits through Google. The first is an exhibit of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including many renderings of clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras. The second is a collection of works from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
You can virtually walk through this popular gallery that houses dozens of famous works from French artists who worked and lived between 1848 and 1914. Get a peek at artworks from Monet, Cézanne, and Gauguin, among others.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
One of Korea’s popular museums can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Google’s virtual tour takes you through six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if you can’t physically be there. This historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar.
Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. Google offers a Street View tour of this iconic museum, so you can feel as if you’re actually wandering its halls.
Don’t forget to take time to rest. Many people are experiencing a routine far different than the norm. Being at home while also sorting through the emotions and stress of the current situation can wear on anybody. Set aside time each day to just rest and reset. It’ll go a long way in ensuring that the day goes smoother.
We hope you find these ideas helpful and fun. Beyond this time period, these ideas are also wonderful starting points to meet new people, explore new places, and learn and relish in that which we may not have appreciated before.